wren_kt7oz: (W_Holy Trinity_Stratford)
It's by Rupert Graves - and it's not what you might expect (unless you read the subject line above).

Never Such Love

Twined together and, as is customary,
For words of rapture groping, they
'Never such love', swore 'ever before was!'
Contrast with all loves that had failed or staled
Registered their own as love indeed.

And was not this to blab idly
The heart's fated inconstacy?
Better in love to seal the love-sure lips:
For truly love was before words were,
And no word given, no word broken.

When the word 'Love' is uttered
(Love, the near-honourable malady
With which in greed and haste they
Each other do infect and curse)
Or, worse, is wrtten down ...

Wise after the event, by love withered,
A 'never more!' most frantically
Sorrow and shame would proclaim
Such as, they'd swear, never before were:
True lovers even in this.

wren_kt7oz: (W_Holy Trinity_Stratford)
This one's from Byron's The Corsair just because I've always loved the first line.

There was a laughing Devil in his sneer,
That raised emotions both of rage and fear ;
And where his frown of hatred darkly fell,
Hope withering fled — and Mercy sighed farewell !

wren_kt7oz: (W_Holy Trinity_Stratford)
I'm going to preface this by saying that I had a teacher when I was around 9 years old who warped me for life.

He introduced me to poetry. At least, he fostered the belief that poetry was something to enjoy, not just to study.

One of the ways that he did this was to read poetry to us at the end of every day when we'd been "good". For 15-30 mins at the end of the day, when other teachers might read a story, he would read a narrative poem. Some of them were reasonably short and we'd get through it in one hit. Others, like the story of Horatius at the ford, were long and we'd get it in installments. He'd manage to find a cliff-hanger in there and leave us waiting anxiously for the next episode.

So, although I love many types of poetry, I've always had a particular soft spot for narrative poems.

In this one, that soft spot met up with my fascination with Australian bush-rangers. Someone once wrote about why Australians are so fascinated by their bush-rangers - Ned Kelly, Ben Hall, the Wild Colonial Boy. I don't think there's an easy answer to that, except that many of them were symbols of a kind of freedom fighter mentality. But one thing the writer said has always stayed with me. It was something like "Courage and loyalty are traits that Australians value highly."

With that in mind ( and I should mention that the story in the poem is pretty much a true account of Johnny Gilbert's death) ... here is Banjo Patterson's How Gilbert Died )



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